Thursday, March 31, 2011


Thank you again to Susan J. for this week's folk dance "tidbit". Sue C.introduced us to the dance, Opinca. Cool! A good dance, so thanks to Sue for the good pick. We considered how to do the arm-swinging. I think the following video may gave some guidance: this is a YouTube video of Opinca being done by members of Kolo Koalition. This is the long-established recreational folk-dancing group in Sacramento, and has a number of experienced dancers, so that I would guess that their version of the arm-swinging is correct. (Also, I think that Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu, who introduced Opinca, have taught in that part of California, so)again I think that what one sees in the video is probably the correct way to do this. Also: Romanian dances are often characterized by strigaturi, which are phrases shouted out during the dance that are in cadence with the steps of the dance: In Opinca, there is 1 strigaturi that is called out in 2 places. You can hear it, but somewhat faintly, on the video. I have heard this called out in person, and it sounds something like "Opishaw". This is a "choreographed" part of the dance, so it would make sense to add this in. I have e-mailed Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu and asked that they provide the spelling, so as to make sure we get the correct pronunciation. Not all Romanian dances have these. However, the dances that have any strigaturi at all usually have these in multiple places throughout the dance. This makes Opinca is a bit unusual, in that the strigaturi is limited to one 3-syllable word, called out only twice. Here is a YouTube video of the dance Calusari, and here the strigaturi are a prominent part of the dance. This may be a bit more typical of Romanian dances that have strigaturi: Keep on Dancing! Another Day, Another Dance! Please share this blog with all of your dancing friends.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Thank you to Susan J. and Bill for the following info.

From Susan J:

Sue C. has been teaching "Troika", a Russian dance. The name means "trio", and refers to a 3-horse configuration that was used in Russia to pull sleds in past times. Some of the movements of the dance mimic the prancing movements of horses. The dance is traditionally done with a man in the center of the trio, and a woman on either side. (One wonders whether this occurred because men were fewer in number than women, due to death in wars. However, this is pure speculation on my part.) In the United States, this formal assignment of the different genders to different positions in the trio is often not formally observed.

From Bill:

Another interesting tidbit “The troika is traditionally driven so that the middle horse trots and the side horses canter; the right-hand horse will be on the right lead and the left-hand horse on the left lead.” “The troika is often claimed to be the world's only harness combination with different gaits of the horses. ”

I am always glad to have help with this blog.

Below are some of the variations on the Troika that I found.

Some have a shoulder hold for the circle.
Only one had the "kick" forward running step.
One had the shouldar hold for the whole dance.
I have seen none that have the grapevine step that Leigh and I do when we do the circle.

Keep on Dancing,
Another Day, Another Dance!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kulska Sira, Su Passu Torrau

Thank you again Susan J. for your"tidbits".You say it better than I ever could!

Late in our dance evening, Leigh and I did part of a wonderful dance, Kulska Sira. This is a Vlach dance. The Vlachs are a people who live in Romania and Bulgaria.

The dance was introduced by Yves Moreau, a well-known Quebecois teacher of dances from Bulgaria, other parts of Eastern Europe, and Quebec and France. Here is a YouTube video of the Sacramento group, Kolo Koalition, doing Kulska Sira.

Here is another version: the music is different, the dance is very similar, but not exactly the same, as the one Yves introduced:

"Su Passu Torrau", which Susan O taught , is a Sardinian dance.
There are at least several dances by this name. The music is characterized by 6-count measures. The dances are characterized by: small steps that include step-closes; bounciness; still upper body; and stance very close to one's neighbors in line.
Here is a charming "Su Passu Torrau", which is not the same as our dance:

Please pass this site on to those you think might be interested.

Keep on Dancing!

Another Day, Another Dance!